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    Official reprint from UpToDate

    www.uptodate.com

    2010 UpToDate

    Authors

    Theodore W Post, MDBurton D Rose, MD

    Section Editor

    Gary C Curhan, MD, ScDDeputy Editor

    Alice M Sheridan, MD

    Overview of the management of chronic kidney disease inadults

    Last literature review version 18.3:Setembro 2010 | This topic last updated:Outubro 8,2010

    INTRODUCTION All patients with renal disease (whether acute or chronic) should undergo an

    assessment of renal function by estimating the glomerular filtration rate (GFR). This

    measurement is used clinically to evaluate the degree of renal impairment, to follow the course

    of the disease, and to assess the response to therapy. An attempt must also be made to obtaina specific diagnosis. The first step in this process is a careful urinalysis. (See "Assessment of

    kidney function: Serum creatinine; BUN; and GFR"and "Diagnostic approach to the patient with

    acute or chronic kidney disease"and "Urinalysis in the diagnosis of renal disease".)

    An overview of the general issues involved in the management of the patient with chronic kidney

    disease, including modalities to slow the rate of progression, will be presented here. The specific

    therapy of patients with particular renal diseases is discussed separately in the appropriate topic

    reviews.

    NATURAL HISTORY OF RENAL DISEASE The initial injury to the kidney may result in a

    variety of clinical manifestations, ranging from asymptomatic hematuria to renal failure requiringdialysis. Many individuals fully recover and subsequently suffer from little or no sequelae.

    Poststreptococcal glomerulonephritis in children, for example, most frequently has a long-term

    benign prognosis. By comparison, some patients, such as those with lupus nephritis, experience

    repeated and chronic insults to the renal parenchyma, thereby resulting in lasting damage.

    Furthermore, others in whom the initial disease is either inactive or cured may still develop

    progressive renal disease due to hemodynamic and other mechanisms.

    In addition to variations in the activity of the individual diseases, these different manifestations

    are partly due to how the kidney responds to injury. The kidney is able to adapt to damage by

    increasing the filtration rate in the remaining normal nephrons, a process called adaptive

    hyperfiltration. As a result, the patient with mild renal insufficiency often has a normal or near-normal serum creatinine concentration. Additional homeostatic mechanisms (most frequently

    occurring within the renal tubules) permit the serum concentrations of sodium, potassium,

    calcium, and phosphorous and the total body water to also remain within the normal range,

    particularly among those with mild to moderate renal failure. (See "Assessment of kidney

    function: Serum creatinine; BUN; and GFR".)

    Adaptive hyperfiltration, although initially beneficial, appears to result in long-term damage to

    the glomeruli of the remaining nephrons, which is manifest by proteinuria and progressive renal

    insufficiency. This process appears to be responsible for the development of renal failure among

    those in whom the original illness is either inactive or cured [1]. The institution of measures to

    help prevent this process, such as antihypertensive therapy with an angiotensin convertingenzyme inhibitor or an angiotensin II receptor blocker, may slow progressive disease and even

    preserve renal function. If these modalities are effective, the benefit is likely to be greatest if

    begun before a great deal of irreversible scarring has occurred. (See "Secondary factors and

    progression of chronic kidney disease".)

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    The gradual decline in function in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) is initially

    asymptomatic. However, as previously mentioned, different signs and symptoms may be

    observed with advanced renal dysfunction, including volume overload, hyperkalemia, metabolic

    acidosis, hypertension, anemia, and bone disease. The onset of end-stage renal disease results

    in a constellation of signs and symptoms referred to as uremia.

    Manifestations of the uremic state include anorexia, nausea, vomiting, pericarditis, peripheral

    neuropathy, and central nervous system abnormalities (ranging from loss of concentration and

    lethargy to seizures, coma, and death). No direct correlation exists between the absolute serumlevels of blood urea nitrogen (BUN) or creatinine, and the development of these symptoms. Some

    patients have relatively low levels (eg, a BUN of 60 mg/dL [21.4 mmol/L] in an older patient) but

    are markedly symptomatic, while others have marked elevations (eg, a BUN of 140 mg/dL [50

    mmol/L]) but remain asymptomatic. To continue life, uremic patients require the institution of

    renal replacement therapy with hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, or renal transplantation. (See

    "Uremic toxins".)

    Not all individuals have progressive loss of kidney function. Some studies show a high rate of

    progression, while others report relatively stable disease [2-4]. The rate of progression of

    chronic kidney disease from one major stage to another varies based upon the underlying

    disease, presence or absence of comorbid conditions, treatments, socioeconomic status,

    individual genetics, ethnicity, and other factors.

    Using epidemiologic data, general estimates for the rate of transition from a GFR between 15 to

    60 mL/min per 1.73 m2 to end stage disease may be approximately 1.5 percent per year, while

    the rate of transition from a GFR above 60 to below 60 mL/min per 1.73 m2 may be

    approximately 0.5 percent per year [5,6].

    The combination of both a low GFR plus dipstick positive proteinuria, versus either parameter

    alone, is associated with a significantly increased risk of progressive renal disease. This was

    shown in a retrospect ive study of the association between these measures and the 25 year

    incidence of end-stage renal disease of middle aged men originally studied in the Multiple RiskFactor Intervention Study (MRFIT) [7]. The presence of 1+ dipstick proteinuria, 2+ dipstick

    proteinuria, estimated GFR less than 60 mL/min per 1.73m2, and a low GFR plus 2+ proteinuria

    was associated with hazard ratios of 3.1, 15.7, 2.4, and 41, respectively, for the development of

    ESRD over a 25-year period.

    DEFINITIONS AND CLASSIFICATION The definition and classification of chronic kidney

    disease may help identify affected patients, possibly resulting in the early institution of effective

    therapy. To achieve this goal, guidelines were proposed from the National Kidney Foundation of

    the United States through its Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiat ive (K/DOQI) program [8].

    These guidelines have been reviewed and accepted internationally [9-11].

    The K/DOQI working group defined chronic kidney disease in adults as:

    Evidence of structural or functional kidney abnormalities (abnormal urinalysis, imaging

    studies, or histology) that persist for at least three months, with or without a decreased

    GFR (as defined by a GFR of less than 60 mL/min per 1.73 m2). The most common

    manifestation of kidney damage is persistent albuminuria, including microalbuminuria.

    OR

    Decreased GFR, with or without evidence of kidney damage.

    Based upon these definitions, the following is the recommended classification of chronic kidney

    disease by stage [8,12-16] along with the estimated prevalence in adults in the United States of

    each stage, as determined by a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)

    performed in 1999 to 2004 [15]:

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    Stage 1 disease is defined by a normal GFR (greater than 90 mL/min per 1.73 m2) and

    persistent albuminuria (5.7 percent of the total United States population)

    Stage 2 disease is a GFR between 60 to 89 mL/min per 1.73 m2 and persistent albuminuria

    (5.4 percent)

    Stage 3 disease is a GFR between 30 and 59 mL/min per 1.73 m2 (5.4 percent)

    Stage 4 disease is a GFR between 15 and 29 mL/min per 1.73 m2 (0.4 percent for stages 4and 5)

    Stage 5 disease is a GFR of less than 15 mL/min per 1.73 m2 or end-stage renal disease

    (0.4 percent for stages 4 and 5)

    Compared with 1988 to 1994, the overall prevalence of CKD stages 1 to 4 significantly increased

    in the period 1999 to 2004 (13.1 versus 10.0 percent) [16].

    The GFR was estimated in this survey using the simplified or abbreviated Modification of Diet in

    Renal Disease (MDRD) study equation [8,12]. For small changes in serum creatinine, which may

    be c linically significant, the measurements are most reliable if performed in the same laboratory.

    By comparison, changes in serum creatinine of 0.3 mg/dL measured in different laboratories may

    represent variations in the assay rather than the GFR [17]. Because of this, there is an ongoing

    effort to standardize serum creatinine measurements.

    Websites are available to aid in the calculation of the GFR through different formulas. These

    include: http://www.kidney.org/professionals/KDOQI/gfr_calculator.cfmand

    nephron.com/mdrd/default.html

    The K/DOQI guidelines consider a chronic estimated GFR (eGFR) of less than 60 mL/min per 1.73

    m2 as a definition of chronic kidney disease. We feel this is too restrictive because it will

    miscategorize some patients with clear evidence of loss of renal function as not having chronic

    kidney disease. As an example, a patient whose serum creatinine concentration increases (as

    measured in the same laboratory) slowly on sequential measurements from 0.8 to 1.2 mg/dL (71

    to 106 micromol/L) clearly has chronic kidney disease even though the GFR may only have fallen

    from 120 to 80 mL/min and the serum creatinine concentration still remains within the normal

    range for the laboratory.

    The K/DOQI guidelines have also suggested that microalbuminuria alone that persists for more

    than three months falls within the definition of chronic kidney disease in patients without

    diabetes. We do not agree that microalbuminuria without a reduction in GFR or some other

    abnormality necessarily reflects renal disease. It correlates best with generalized endothelial

    dysfunction and is clearly associated with an increase in cardiovascular risk. (See"Microalbuminuria and cardiovascular disease".) The K/DOQI clinical practice guidelines for CKD,

    as well as other K/DOQI guidelines, can be accessed through the National Kidney Foundation's

    web site at www.kidney.org/professionals/kdoqi/guidelines.cfm.

    Some experts also feel that the presence of a low GFR alone should not necessarily be

    considered a sign of progressive disease, particularly in older patients [18]. There are many

    elderly patients who have substantial reductions in GFR who do not develop end-stage renal

    disease in their lifetime [19]. Additional discussion related to the epidemiology of chronic kidney

    disease and screening recommendations is presented separately. (See "Epidemiology of chronic

    kidney disease and sc reening recommendations".)

    ASSOCIATION WITH CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE, END-STAGE RENAL DISEASE, AND

    MORTALITY There is a large body of evidence that patients with CKD have a substantial

    increase in cardiovascular risk that can be in part explained by an increase in traditional risk

    factors such as hypertension, diabetes, and the metabolic syndrome. CKD alone is also an

    independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Among patients with CKD, the risk of death,

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    particularly due to cardiovascular disease, is much higher than the risk of eventually requiring

    dialysis. This is discussed separately. (See "Chronic kidney disease and coronary heart disease".)

    Close attention to the prevention and management of cardiovascular disease should occur

    among patients identified with chronic renal dysfunction [20]. As an example, the increased

    intake of calcium (which is commonly given to treat hyperphosphatemia and may result in a high

    calcium-phosphorus product) may enhance coronary arterial calcification. Although controversial,

    this is thought by some to be associated with the development of coronary atherosclerosis, and

    is related to the presence and/or consequences of elevated serum phosphorus, calcium, andparathyroid hormone levels. (See 'Hyperphosphatemia'below and "Vascular calcification in

    chronic kidney disease".)

    These and other observations have suggested that chronic kidney disease should be considered

    a coronary equivalent and that aggressive risk factor reduction should be part of standard

    therapy of patients with chronic kidney disease. (See "Chronic kidney disease and coronary

    heart disease".)

    Patients with CKD are also at increased risk for the development of end-stage renal disease

    (ESRD) as well as all-cause mortality. In some subsets of individuals with CKD, the risk of ESRD

    exceeds the risk of mortality. As an example, in an analysis of the African American Study of

    Kidney Disease and Hypertension (AASK), follow-up of 764 participants for over 11 years found

    that the rate of ESRD significantly surpassed the rate of total mortality (3.9/100 patient-years

    versus 2.2/100 patient-years, respect ively) [21].

    ASSOCIATION WITH NON-CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE Patients with CKD are at increased

    risk for a variety of non-cardiovascular diseases, including infection and malignancy [22-24].

    Careful attention should be paid to preventive measures such as influenza and pneumococcal

    immunization, and age-appropriate screening for malignancy [25]. (See "Overview of preventive

    medicine in adults".)

    GENERAL MANAGEMENT OF CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE The general management of the

    patient with chronic kidney disease involves the following issues [26]:

    Treatment of reversible causes of renal dysfunction

    Preventing or slowing the progression of renal disease

    Treatment of the complications of renal dysfunction

    Identification and adequate preparation of the patient in whom renal replacement therapy

    will be required

    Reversible causes of renal dysfunction In addition to exacerbation of their original renal

    disease, patients with chronic renal disease with a recent decrease in renal function may be

    suffering from an underlying reversible process, which if identified and corrected may result in

    the recovery of function.

    Decreased renal perfusion Hypovolemia (such as vomiting, diarrhea, diuretic use,

    bleeding), hypotension (due to myocardial dysfunction or pericardial disease), infection (such as

    sepsis), and the administration of drugs which lower the GFR (such as nonsteroidal

    antiinflammatory drugs [NSAIDs] and ACE inhibitors) are common causes of potentially reversible

    declines in renal function.

    The normal response to renal hypoperfusion is to lower the urine sodium concentration (less than

    25 meq/L) and the fractional excretion of sodium (less than 1 percent in patients with advanced

    renal failure) to very low levels. However, the superimposition of a prerenal process among

    patients with chronic kidney disease may not result in the expected low values since the tubulesin the diseased kidney are unable to reabsorb sodium so efficiently. As a result, hypovolemia in

    these patients should be diagnosed by the history and physical examination, including the

    presence of relative hypotension, a low jugular venous pressure, and poor skin turgor. In this

    setting, a judicious trial of fluid repletion may result in the return of renal function to the

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    previous baseline. (See "Fractional excretion of sodium in acute kidney injury (acute renal

    failure)".)

    Administration of nephrotoxic drugs The administration of drugs or diagnostic agents

    that adversely affect renal function are a frequent cause of worsening renal function. Among

    patients with chronic kidney disease, common offenders include aminoglycoside antibiotics

    (particularly with unadjusted doses), nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs, and radiographic

    contrast material, particularly in diabetics. The administration of such drugs should therefore be

    avoided or used with caution in patients with underlying chronic kidney disease. (See"Manifestations of and risk factors for aminoglycoside nephrotoxicity"and "NSAIDs: Acute kidney

    injury (acute renal failure) and nephrotic syndrome"and "Pathogenesis, clinical features, and

    diagnosis of contrast-induced nephropathy".)

    Certain drugs also interfere with either creatinine secretion or the assay used to measure the

    serum creatinine. These include cimetidine, trimethoprim, cefoxitin, and flucytosine. In these

    settings, there will be no change in GFR; the clinical clue that this has occurred is the absence

    of a concurrent elevation in the blood urea nitrogen (BUN). (See "Drugs that elevate the serum

    creatinine concentration".)

    Urinary tract obstruction Urinary tract obstruction should always be considered in the

    patient with unexplained worsening renal function although, in the absence of prostatic disease,

    it is much less common than decreased renal perfusion. Patients with slowly developing

    obstruction typically have no changes in the urinalysis, no symptoms referable to the kidney,

    and initially maintain their urine output. Given this lack of c linical clues, renal ultrasonography is

    often performed to exclude urinary tract obstruction in patients with an unexplained elevation in

    the serum creatinine. (See "Diagnosis of urinary tract obstruction and hydronephrosis".)

    Slowing the rate of progression Studies in experimental animals and humans suggest that

    progression in chronic kidney disease may be due at least in part to secondary factors that are

    unrelated to the ac tivity of the initial disease. The major factors are thought to be

    intraglomerular hypertension and glomerular hypertrophy (which are primarily responsible for theadaptive hyperfiltration described above), leading to glomerular scarring (glomerulosc lerosis).

    Additional causes may include hyperlipidemia, metabolic acidosis, and tubulointerstitial disease.

    (See "Secondary factors and progression of chronic kidney disease".)

    The major histologic manifestation of hemodynamically-mediated renal injury is secondary focal

    segmental glomerulosclerosis [27]. Thus, proteinuria typically occurs in patients with progressive

    chronic kidney disease, even in primary tubulointerstitial diseases such as reflux nephropathy.

    Multiple studies in humans have been performed investigating the effect of treating secondary

    factors on the progression of renal disease. There is clear evidence in diabetic nephropathy and

    nondiabetic chronic kidney diseases that the administration of angiotensin converting enzyme

    (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) slows the progression of chronic

    kidney disease, with the greatest benefit in patients with higher degrees of proteinuria (figure

    1) [28]. The possible efficacy of dietary protein restriction is less clear. (See "Antihypertensive

    therapy and progression of nondiabetic chronic kidney disease"and "Protein restriction and

    progression of chronic kidney disease".)

    If these modalities are to be effective, the benefit is likely to be greatest if begun before a great

    deal of irreversible scarring has occurred. Thus, protective therapy has the greatest impact if it

    is initiated relatively early in the course, before the serum creatinine concentration exceeds 1.2

    (106 micromol/L) and 1.5 mg/dL (133 micromol/L) in women and men, respectively, or the GFR is

    less than 60 mL/min per 1.73 m2. At this point, most patients have already lost more than one-half of their GFR. Waiting until the disease progresses further diminishes the likelihood of a

    successful response.

    The following recommendations are consistent with JNC 7 and the K/DOQI Clinical Practice

    Guidelines on hypertension and antihypertensive agents in chronic kidney disease [29-31].

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    Aggressive goals are recommended for both proteinuria and blood pressure. Antihypertensive

    therapy is given for both renal protection and cardiovascular protection, since chronic kidney

    disease is associated with a marked increased in cardiovascular risk. (See 'Association with

    cardiovascular disease, end-stage renal disease, and mortality'above and "Chronic kidney

    disease and coronary heart disease".)

    A reduction in protein excretion to less than 500 to 1000 mg/day; recognizing the difficulty

    of achieving such a goal in many patients, we recommend a minimum reduction of at least

    60 percent of baseline values.

    A reduction in blood pressure to less than 130/80 mmHg. However, evidence from the

    Modification of Diet in Renal Disease study, the AASK trial, and a meta-analysis from the

    ACE inhibition and Progressive Renal Disease (AIPRD) study group suggest that an even

    lower systolic pressure may be more effective in slowing progressive renal disease in

    patients with a spot urine total protein-to-creatinine ratio 1000 mg/g (which represents

    protein excretion of greater than 1000 mg/day) [28]. Caution is advised about lowering the

    systolic blood pressure below 110 mmHg. (See "Measurement of urinary protein excretion".)

    These aggressive goals will, in most patients, require therapy with multiple drugs. Our

    recommendations concerning drug therapy are discussed separately. (See "Antihypertensive

    therapy and progression of nondiabetic chronic kidney disease".)

    ACE inhibitors and ARBs can cause a decline in renal function and a rise in plasma potassium that

    typically occur soon after the onset of therapy. An elevation in serum creatinine of as much as

    30 to 35 percent above baseline that stabilizes within the first two to four months of therapy is

    considered acceptable and not a reason to discontinue therapy with these drugs [29,32].

    However, a repeat plasma creatinine and potassium should be measured within three to five

    days. (See "Antihypertensive therapy and progression of nondiabetic chronic kidney disease".)

    In patients with nonproteinuric renal disease, most often a tubulointerstitial disease, none of the

    above drugs has been shown to slow progression of the renal disease and therapy is limited toblood pressure control.

    Other therapeutic modalities also may offer some renal protection:

    The optimal level of protein intake has also not been determined but it may be reasonable

    to restrict intake to 0.8 to 1.0 g/kg per day of high biologic value protein, with the lower

    value used in patients with progressive chronic kidney disease. Some recommend even

    lower levels, such as 0.6 to 0.75 g/kg per day of high value protein, with close supervision

    and dietary counseling [33]. (See "Protein restriction and progression of chronic kidney

    disease".)

    Both hyperlipidemia and metabolic acidosis should be treated, in part because there is

    some evidence that they may enhance the rate of progression of the renal disease (see

    below). (See "Statins and chronic kidney disease".)

    Smoking cessation should be encouraged, with smoking stoppage being associated with a

    reduced rate of progression of chronic kidney disease [34]. In an increasing number of

    studies, smoking also appears to correlate with an enhanced risk of developing kidney

    disease (primarily nephrosclerosis) as well as increasing the rate of progression among

    those with existing CKD [35].

    Treatment of the complications of renal dysfunction A wide range of disorders maydevelop as a consequence of the loss of renal function. These include disorders of fluid and

    electrolyte balance, such as volume overload, hyperkalemia, metabolic acidosis, and

    hyperphosphatemia, as well as abnormalities related to hormonal or systemic dysfunction, such

    as anorexia, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, hypertension, anemia, malnutrition, hyperlipidemia, and

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    bone disease. Attention needs to be paid to all of these issues.

    One recommended diet, including suggest ions for protein, fat, mineral, water, and vitamin intake,

    is presented in Tables 1 and 2 (table 1and table 2). This should be modified based upon the

    needs of the individual patient.

    Volume overload Sodium and intravascular volume balance are usually maintained via

    homeostatic mechanisms until the GFR falls below 10 to 15 mL/min. However, the patient with

    mild to moderate chronic kidney disease, despite being in relative volume balance, is less able to

    respond to rapid infusions of sodium and is therefore prone to fluid overload.

    Patients with chronic kidney disease and volume overload generally respond to the combination

    of dietary sodium restriction and diuretic therapy, usually with a loop diuretic given daily. Some

    investigators have also c laimed that limiting sodium intake may also help decrease progression of

    chronic kidney disease by lowering intraglomerular pressure [36]. (See "Optimal dosage and side

    effects of loop diuretics"and "Treatment of refractory edema in adults".)

    Hyperkalemia The ability to maintain potassium excretion at near normal levels is

    generally maintained in patients with renal disease as long as both aldosterone secretion and

    distal flow are maintained [37,38]. Thus, hyperkalemia generally develops in the patient who is

    oliguric or who has an additional problem such as a high potassium diet, increased tissuebreakdown, or hypoaldosteronism (due in some cases to the administration of an ACE inhibitor or

    ARB) [39]. Impaired cell uptake of potassium also may contribute to the development of

    hyperkalemia in advanced chronic kidney disease. (See "Causes of hyperkalemia".)

    Hyperkalemia due to ACE inhibitor or ARB therapy is most likely to occur in patients in whom the

    serum potassium concentration is elevated or in the high normal range prior to therapy. This is

    discussed in detail separately. (See "Treatment and prevention of hyperkalemia".)

    In addition to treating hyperkalemia, there are several measures that can help prevent

    hyperkalemia in patients with chronic kidney disease. These include ingestion of a low potassium

    diet (eg, less than 40 to 70 meq/day [1500 to 2700 mg/day]) and avoiding, if possible, the useof drugs that raise the serum potassium concentration such as nonsteroidal antiinflammatory

    drugs [40]. Nonselective beta-blockers make the postprandial rise in the serum potassium

    concentration but do not produce persistent hyperkalemia. (See "Sympathetic ac tivity and

    potassium balance"and "Patient information: Low potassium diet".)

    Metabolic acidosis There is an increasing tendency to retain hydrogen ions among

    patients with chronic kidney disease [41-43]. This can lead to a progressive metabolic acidosis

    with the serum bicarbonate concentration tending to stabilize between 12 and 20 meq/L, and

    rarely falling below 10 meq/L [42,44].

    Previously, exogenous alkali was not usually given to treat the generally mild metabolic acidosis(arterial pH generally above 7.25) in asymptomatic adults with chronic kidney disease. This was

    primarily due to concerns related to the exacerbation of volume expansion and hypertension.

    However, these concerns appear to be overstated.

    There are three major reasons why treatment of the acidemia may be desirable in patients with

    chronic kidney disease. (See "Pathogenesis and treatment of metabolic acidosis in chronic kidney

    disease".)

    Bicarbonate supplementation may slow the progression of chronic kidney disease [45].

    Bone buffering of some of the excess hydrogen ions is associated with the release of

    calcium and phosphate from bone, which can worsen the bone disease. (See 'Renal

    osteodystrophy'below.)

    Uremic acidosis can increase skeletal muscle breakdown and diminish albumin synthesis,

    leading to loss of lean body mass and muscle weakness. The administration of bicarbonate

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    increases serum albumin and the lean body mass [45].

    We recommend alkali therapy to maintain the serum bicarbonate concentration above 23 meq/L

    [45-50]. If alkali is given, sodium bicarbonate(in a daily dose of 0.5 to 1 meq/kg per day) is the

    agent of choice. Sodium citrate (citrate is rapidly metabolized to bicarbonate) may be used in

    patients who are unable to tolerate sodium bicarbonate, since it does not produce the bloating

    associated with bicarbonate therapy [47]. Sodium citrate should be avoided in the rare patient

    who may be taking aluminum-containing antacids since it markedly enhances intestinal aluminum

    absorption [51,52].

    The K/DOQI clinical practice guidelines for nutrition in CRF, as well as other K/DOQI guidelines,

    can be accessed through the National Kidney Foundation's web site at

    www.kidney.org/professionals/kdoqi/guidelines.cfm.

    Hyperphosphatemia A tendency toward phosphate retention begins early in renal

    disease, due to the reduction in the filtered phosphate load. Although this problem is initially mild

    with hyperphosphatemia being a relatively late event, phosphate retention is intimately related

    to the common development of secondary hyperparathyroidism. (See "Pathogenesis of renal

    osteodystrophy".)

    From the viewpoint of calcium and phosphate balance, the hypersecretion of parathyroid

    hormone (PTH) is initially appropriate, since PTH can correct both hyperphosphatemia and

    hypocalcemia. As a result, phosphate balance and a normal serum phosphate concentration are

    generally maintained in patients with a GFR of greater than 30 mL/min [53]. The price paid is

    secondary hyperparathyroidism and the development of renal osteodystrophy. (See

    "Pathogenesis of renal osteodystrophy".)

    Dietary phosphate restrict ion may limit the development of secondary hyperparathyroidism in

    patients with chronic kidney disease. An intake of about 800 mg/day may be desirable and is

    recommended by the K/DOQI guidelines in patients with elevated phosphate and/or PTH levels.

    However, it can be accomplished only by limiting protein intake which is not acceptable to manypatients (even though it may provide some protection against progressive renal disease). (See

    "Protein restriction and progression of chronic kidney disease".)

    Once the GFR falls below 25 to 30 mL/min, the addition of oral phosphate binders are usually

    required to prevent hyperphosphatemia [53,54]. The K/DOQI guidelines recommend that serum

    phosphorus levels should be between 2.7 and 4.6 mg/dL (0.87 and 1.49 mmol/L) among patients

    with stage 3 and 4 chronic kidney disease, and between 3.5 and 5.5 mg/dL (1.13 and 1.78

    mmol/L) among those with end-stage renal disease (or stage 5 disease) [54]. The serum

    calcium-phosphorus product should also be maintained at

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    tolerate calcium-based phosphate binders (eg, due to hypercalcemia or constipation) or have

    persistent hyperphosphatemia. It may also be used in combination therapy with calcium-

    containing antacids among those with serum phosphate levels consistently above target levels

    despite single-agent binder therapy. (See "Treatment of hyperphosphatemia in chronic kidney

    disease".)

    Lanthanum, a rare earth element, also has significant phosphate binding properties. Although no

    significant clinical adverse effects have yet been reported, the long-term safety of lanthanum,

    particularly its possible effect on bone and other organs, remains unclear. (See "Treatment ofhyperphosphatemia in chronic kidney disease".)

    Most other phosphate binders should be avoided:

    Aluminum hydroxide, the previous standard, because of the gradual induction of aluminum

    toxicity

    Magnesium-containing antacids (such as magnesium hydroxide), because of the risk of

    hypermagnesemia and the frequent development of diarrhea

    Calcium citrate, since it markedly increases intestinal aluminum absorption

    Unfortunately, all of the phosphate binders have a limited phosphorous binding capacity. Thus,

    phosphate-binding compounds will be effective in lowering serum phosphorous levels only if the

    dietary restrictions for phosphorus are continued simultaneously.

    The increased intake of calcium may enhance coronary arterial calcification in this setting. This

    is thought by some to be associated with the development of coronary atherosclerosis, and may

    be related to the presence and/or consequences of elevated serum phosphorus, calcium, and

    parathyroid hormone levels. Detailed discussions of these issues, including specific K/DOQI

    guidelines, can be found separately. (See "Vascular calcification in chronic kidney disease".) The

    K/DOQI clinical practice guidelines for bone metabolism and disease in CKD, as well as other

    K/DOQI guidelines, can be accessed through the National Kidney Foundation's web site at

    www.kidney.org/professionals/kdoqi/guidelines.cfm.

    Renal osteodystrophy Changes in mineral metabolism and bone structure are an almost

    universal finding with progressive chronic kidney disease [55]. The principal types of renal bone

    disease include osteitis fibrosa, osteomalacia, and adynamic bone disease. (See "Pathogenesis of

    renal osteodystrophy".)

    Osteitis fibrosa results from secondary hyperparathyroidism. Although an exact relationship is

    unclear, parathyroid hormone levels appear to increase when renal function decreases beyond a

    certain threshold value, with evidence suggesting that hormone levels begin to rise when the

    creatinine clearance is less than 40 to 70 mL/min [8,56].

    To help guide preventive measures, parathyroid hormone levels should therefore be assessed

    among such patients, as hormonal abnormalities are one of the earliest markers of abnormal bone

    mineral metabolism with progressive chronic kidney disease. Prevention and/or treatment of

    osteitis fibrosis in patients with predialysis chronic kidney disease are primarily based upon

    dietary phosphate restriction, the administration of oral phosphate binders, and the

    administration of calcitriol(or vitamin D analogs) to directly suppress the secretion of

    parathyroid hormone.

    Calcitriol(1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D), the most active metabolite of vitamin D, is principally

    synthesized in the kidney. Circulating calcitriol levels begin to fall when the GFR is less than 40mL/min and are typically markedly reduced in subjects with end-stage renal disease. In addition

    to the loss of functioning renal mass, calcitriol production is also reduced by phosphate

    retention. (See "Pathogenesis of renal osteodystrophy".)

    Calcimimetics are agents that allosterically increase the sensitivity of the calcium-sensing

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    receptor in the parathyroid gland to calcium. The calcium-sensing receptor is the principal factor

    regulating parathyroid gland parathyroid hormone secretion and hyperplasia. The separate target

    offers the potential to suppress parathyroid hormone secretion by mechanisms complementary

    and potentially synergistic with vitamin D analogues that target the vitamin D receptor. Although

    not approved for patients with CKD not yet on dialysis, cinacalcet, the only currently available

    calcimimetic, is an emerging option in the treatment of secondary hyperparathyroidism in

    predialysis pat ients with CKD.

    Target serum levels for PTH as well as the approach to the management of this issue arediscussed separately. (See "Management of secondary hyperparathyroidism and mineral

    metabolism abnormalities in adult predialysis patients with chronic kidney disease".)

    Hypertension Hypertension is present in approximately 80 to 85 percent of patients with

    chronic kidney disease [57]. Treating hypertension can both slow the progression of proteinuric

    CKD and reduce the rate of cardiovascular complications. (See "Chronic kidney disease and

    coronary heart disease", section on 'Blood pressure control'and "Hypertension in kidney

    disease".)

    The desired degree of blood pressure control can usually be safely achieved with combined

    therapy which usually begins with an ACE inhibitor or angiotensin II receptor blocker (also given

    to slow disease progression as noted above) and a diuretic. Issues surrounding the treatment of

    hypertension among patients with diabetic nephropathy are discussed in detail separately. (See

    "Treatment of hypertension in patients with diabetes mellitus".)

    Volume expansion, often in the absence of overt edema, contributes to the elevation in blood

    pressure in most forms of chronic kidney disease. As a result, before other medications are

    added, the dose of diuretics should be increased until the blood pressure is normalized or the

    patient has attained "dry weight" which, in the presence of persistent hypertension, is defined

    as the weight at which further fluid loss will lead either to symptoms (fatigue, orthostatic

    hypotension) or to decreased tissue perfusion as evidenced by an otherwise unexplained

    elevation in the BUN and plasma creatinine concentration. (See "Hypertension in kidneydisease".)

    A loop diuretic is recommended for the treatment of hypertension and edema in patients with

    chronic kidney disease. The thiazide diuretics in conventional dosage become less effective as

    monotherapy when the GFR falls below 20 mL/min. They do, however, produce an additive effect

    when administered with a loop diuretic for refractory edema. (See "Treatment of refractory

    edema in adults".)

    The optimal blood pressure in hypertensive patients with chronic kidney disease is uncertain. The

    rate of loss of GFR appears to be more rapid when the mean arterial pressure remains at or

    above 100 mmHg (which reflects a diastolic pressure of 80 to 85 mmHg in the absence ofsystolic hypertension). To slow progression of chronic kidney disease, the optimal blood pressure

    depends in part on the degree of proteinuria. (See "Antihypertensive therapy and progression of

    nondiabetic chronic kidney disease", section on 'Importance of proteinuria in predicting

    response'.)

    We recommend a blood pressure goal of less than 130/80 mmHg in patients with protein

    excretion exceeding 500 to 1000 mg/day, which is consistent with JNC 7 and the K/DOQI Clinical

    Practice Guidelines on hypertension and antihypertensive agents in chronic kidney disease

    [29,30]. (See "Antihypertensive therapy and progression of nondiabetic chronic kidney

    disease"and 'Slowing the rate of progression'above.)

    There is no clear evidence supporting a blood pressure goal less than 130/80 mmHg in patients

    with protein excretion below 500 to 1000 mg/day. The data addressing this issue and our

    recommendations are presented elsewhere. (See "Antihypertensive therapy and progression of

    nondiabetic chronic kidney disease", section on 'Nonproteinuric chronic kidney disease'.)

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    Anemia The anemia of chronic kidney disease is, in most patients, normocytic and

    normochromic, and is due primarily to reduced product ion of erythropoietin by the kidney (a

    presumed reflection of the reduction in functioning renal mass), and to shortened red cell

    survival [58]. Anemia is a common feature in many patients with chronic kidney disease who do

    not yet require dialysis, with anemia becoming increasingly common as glomerular filtration rates

    (GFRs) decline below 60 mL/min per 1.73 m2 [59,60], particularly among diabetics [61]. As an

    example, based upon over 15,000 participants in the NHANES survey, the prevalence of anemia

    (Hbg

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    associated with an adverse cardiovascular prognosis, chronic kidney disease is considered a

    coronary heart disease equivalent [66]. (See "Chronic kidney disease and coronary heart

    disease".)

    Thus, the goal LDL-cholesterol is similar to that in patients with CHD, which has been less than

    100 mg/dL (2.6 mmol/L). However, subsequent data has led some experts to recommend a lower

    goal of less than 70 mg/dL (1.8 mmol/L). A similar lipid-lowering goal, beginning with statin

    therapy, should be administered to patients with chronic kidney disease. (See "Treatment of

    lipids (including hypercholesterolemia) in secondary prevention"and "Hyperlipidemia in nephroticsyndrome"and "Chronic kidney disease and coronary heart disease", section on 'Secondary

    prevention'.)

    Limited data suggest that lipid lowering may have an additional benefit in patients with chronic

    kidney disease, which is slowing the rate of progression of the underlying renal disease. (See

    "Secondary factors and progression of chronic kidney disease", section on 'Hyperlipidemia'and

    "Statins and chronic kidney disease".)

    Sexual dysfunction Significant abnormalities in sexual and reproductive function are

    frequently observed in patients with advanced renal disease. As an example, over 50 percent of

    uremic men complain of symptoms that include erectile dysfunction, decreased libido, and

    marked declines in the frequency of intercourse [67]; in addition, disturbances in menstruation

    and fertility are commonly encountered in women with chronic kidney disease, usually leading to

    amenorrhea by the time the patient reaches end-stage renal disease. (See "Sexual dysfunction

    in uremic women"and "Sexual dysfunction in uremic men".)

    An important clinical implication of these abnormalities is that pregnancy which is carried to term

    is uncommon in women with a plasma creatinine concentration of 3 mg/dL (265 micromol/L) or

    higher [68]. (See "Pregnancy in women with underlying renal disease".)

    Treatment of complications of ESRD Once the patient has reached the stage of near end-

    stage renal disease (GFR less than 15 mL/min), signs and symptoms related to uremia begin to

    occur, such as malnutrition, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, sexual dysfunction, platelet

    dysfunction, pericarditis, and neuropathy.

    Malnutrition Malnutrition is common in patients with advanced chronic renal disease

    because of a lower food intake (principally due to anorexia), decreased intestinal absorption and

    digestion, and metabolic acidosis [69-71]. Among participants 60 years of age in the United

    States Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a GFR

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    GFR below 20 mL/min per 1.73 m2 [72].

    Overall, the diet of most patients with chronic kidney disease should provide approximately 30 to

    35 kcal/kg per day [72]. One recommended diet, including suggest ions for protein, fat, mineral,

    water, and vitamin intake, is presented in the following tables (table 1and table 2). The K/DOQI

    clinical practice guidelines for nutrition in CRF, as well as other K/DOQI guidelines, can be

    accessed through the National Kidney Foundation's web site at

    www.kidney.org/professionals/kdoqi/guidelines.cfm.

    Uremic bleeding An increased tendency to bleeding is present in both acute and chronic

    kidney disease. This appears to correlate most closely with prolongation of the bleeding time,

    due primarily to impaired platelet function. (See "Platelet dysfunction in uremia".)

    No specific therapy is required in asymptomatic patients. However, correction of the platelet

    dysfunction is desirable in patients who are actively bleeding or who are about to undergo a

    surgical or invasive procedure (such as a renal biopsy). A number of different modalities can be

    used in this setting, including the correction of anemia, the administration of

    desmopressin(dDAVP), cryoprecipitate, estrogen, and the initiation of dialysis. (See "Platelet

    dysfunction in uremia".)

    Pericarditis Advances in management have decreased the incidence of pericarditis inpatients with chronic kidney disease, but this problem is still associated with significant morbidity

    and occasional mortality. (See "Pericarditis in renal failure".)

    Fever, pleuritic chest pain, and a pericardial friction rub are the major presentations of uremic

    pericarditis. One relatively characteristic feature of uremic pericarditis is that the

    electrocardiogram does not usually show the typical diffuse ST and T wave elevation,

    presumably because this is a metabolic pericarditis and epicardial injury is uncommon. Thus, the

    finding of these abnormalities suggests some other cause for the pericarditis. The occurrence of

    pericarditis in a patient with mild to moderate chronic kidney disease is another clue that the

    renal disease is probably not responsible.

    The development of otherwise unexplained pericarditis in a patient with advanced renal failure is

    an indication to institute dialysis (providing there is no circulatory compromise or evidence of

    impending tamponade) (see below). Most patients with uremic pericarditis respond rapidly to

    dialysis with resolution of chest pain as well as a decrease in the size of the pericardial effusion.

    (See "Pericarditis in renal failure".)

    Uremic neuropathy Dysfunction of the central and peripheral nervous system, including

    encephalopathy (impaired mental status progressing if untreated to seizures and coma),

    polyneuropathy, and mononeuropathy are important complications of end-stage renal disease.

    They have become much less common because of the current tendency to earlier initiation of

    dialysis.

    Sensory dysfunctions, characterized by the restless leg or burning feet syndromes, are frequent

    presentations of uremic neuropathy. These complications are usually absolute indications for the

    initiation of dialysis. The extent of recovery from uremic neuropathy is directly related to the

    degree and extent of dysfunction prior to the initiation of dialysis. (See "Uremic

    polyneuropathy".)

    Thyroid dysfunction The kidney normally plays an important role in the metabolism,

    degradation, and excretion of several thyroid hormones. It is not surprising therefore that

    impairment in kidney function leads to disturbed thyroid physiology. However, the overlap in

    symptomatology between the uremic syndrome and hypothyroidism requires a cautiousinterpretation of the tests of thyroid function.

    It is usually possible in the individual patient with chronic kidney disease to assess thyroid status

    accurately by physical diagnosis and thyroid function testing. The disturbances that can occur

    include low serum free and total T3 concentrations and normal reverse T3 and free T4

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    concentrations. The serum thyrotropin (TSH) concentration is normal and most patients are

    euthyroid. (See "Thyroid function in chronic kidney disease".)

    PREPARATION FOR AND INITIATION OF RENAL REPLACEMENT THERAPY It is important to

    identify patients who may eventually require renal replacement therapy since adequate

    preparation can decrease morbidity and perhaps mortality. Early identification enables dialysis to

    be initiated at the optimal time with a functioning chronic access and may also permit the

    recruitment and evaluation of family members for the placement of a renal allograft prior to the

    need for dialysis. In addition, the ability of the individual to psychologically accept therequirement of life-long renal replacement therapy is often diminished if inadequate time has

    elapsed between the time of recognition of end-stage renal disease and the initiation of dialysis.

    Chronic kidney disease progresses at a variable rate due to differences in the clinical course of

    the underlying diseases (particularly between individuals) and the recognition that the natural

    history of progressive renal disease can be altered by various therapeutic interventions,

    particularly strict blood pressure control with an ACE inhibitor or ARB. (See 'Slowing the rate of

    progression'above.) As a result, exactly if and when a patient may require dialysis or renal

    transplantation is unclear. In addition, some patients refuse renal replacement therapy until the

    onset of absolute indications, while others desire early initiation to avoid the complications of

    severe chronic kidney disease, such as malnutrition.

    Referral to nephrologists Patients with CKD should be referred to a nephrologist early in the

    course of their disease, preferably before the plasma creatinine concentration exceeds 1.2 (106

    micromol/L) and 1.5 mg/dL (133 micromol/L) in women and men, respectively, or the eGFR is less

    than 60 mL/min per 1.73 m2. These subspecialists are trained to help counsel the patient in

    choosing the optimal renal replacement therapy and to manage the many issues associated with

    chronic kidney disease [73]. Lower costs and/or decreased morbidity and mortality may be

    associated with early referral and care by subspecialists [74-84]. Reasons for later referral may

    include disease specific factors, patient and physician dependent causes, and health care

    system related factors [85]. (See "Late referral to nephrologists of patients with chronic kidney

    disease".)

    There are guidelines that advocate early screening for patients at risk of chronic kidney disease.

    The NKF-K/DOQI guidelines for CKD recommend that all individuals should be assessed, as part of

    routine health examinations, to determine whether they are at increased risk for developing CKD.

    The detection of patients with early disease may also facilitate proper care and early referral to

    nephrologists. (See "Epidemiology of chronic kidney disease and screening recommendations".)

    The K/DOQI clinical practice guidelines for CKD, as well as other K/DOQI guidelines, can be

    accessed through the National Kidney Foundation's web site at

    www.kidney.org/professionals/kdoqi/guidelines.cfm.

    An equally important component of early identification is institution of renoprotective therapy(eg, ACE inhibitor, angiotensin II receptor blocker, and rigorous blood pressure control) as early

    as possible after identifying the presence of progressive chronic kidney disease. Protective

    therapy has the greatest impact if it is initiated before the plasma creatinine concentration

    exceeds 1.2 (106 micromol/L) and 1.5 mg/dL (133 micromol/L) in women and men, respectively,

    or the eGFR is less than 60 mL/min per 1.73m2. At this point, most patients have already lost

    more than one-half of their GFR. Waiting until the disease progresses further diminishes the

    likelihood of a successful response but still should be attempted. (See "Antihypertensive therapy

    and progression of nondiabetic chronic kidney disease"and 'Slowing the rate of

    progression'above.)

    Choice of renal replacement therapy Once it is determined that renal replacement therapy

    will eventually be required, the patient should be counseled to consider the advantages and

    disadvantages of hemodialysis (in-center or at home), peritoneal dialysis (continuous or

    intermittent modalities), and renal transplantation (living or deceased donor) [86]. The 2006

    K/DOQI guidelines recommend that patients with a GFR less than 30 mL/min per 1.73 m2 should

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    be educated concerning these issues [87].

    Kidney transplantat ion is the treatment of choice for end-stage renal disease. A successful

    kidney transplant improves the quality of life and reduces the mortality risk for most patients,

    when compared with maintenance dialysis. To facilitate early transplantation, a 2008 NKF/KDOQI

    conference suggested early education and referral to a transplantation center plus the

    identification of potential living donors [88].

    However, not all patients are appropriate candidates for a kidney allograft because of absolute

    and/or relative contraindications to this procedure or the subsequent required medications.

    Referral to a transplant program should occur once renal replacement therapy is thought to be

    required within the next year [89]. (See "Patient survival after renal transplantation"and

    "Evaluation of the potential renal transplant recipient".)

    Living donor transplants, if available, have the additional advantage of being performed with

    minimal delay, thereby permitting preemptive transplantat ion (transplantation prior to dialysis).

    Such patients appear to have improved graft survival compared to those who undergo a period

    of dialysis before transplantation [90]. (See "Dialysis issues prior to and after renal

    transplantation"and "Risk factors for graft failure in kidney transplantation".)

    For these individuals and for those who are suitable transplant recipients but must wait for anavailable kidney, the choice between hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis is influenced by a number

    of considerations such as availability, convenience, comorbid conditions, home situation, age,

    gender, and the ability to tolerate volume shifts. (See "Dialysis modality and patient

    outcome"and "Choosing a modality for chronic peritoneal dialysis"and "Dialysis in diabetic

    nephropathy".)

    In the United States, the universal availability of renal replacement therapy forces the

    nephrologist to consider its application in every patient in whom it might be indicated. However,

    the patient, particularly the elderly and terminally ill, may refuse dialysis, a choice which is

    assuming more prominence as patients and physicians grapple with the increasing use of

    advance directives, and the laudable goals of death with dignity and life with quality.

    Nevertheless, not all nephrologists are willing to recommend no treatment, especially when

    dialysis facilities are available with no need to ration therapy. These issues can be a source of

    conflict among physicians, patients, and their families. (See "Withdrawal from and withholding of

    dialysis".)

    Preparation for hemodialysis Hemodialysis requires a stable access to the bloodstream to

    permit dialysis to be performed. (See "Overview of the hemodialysis apparatus".) The access

    should generally be placed in the nondominant upper extremity, because of the increased risk of

    infection and more severe consequences of arterial steal syndrome with lower extremity grafts.

    Venipuncture should therefore be restricted to the arm not chosen for eventual access

    placement so that the veins in the other arm will be preserved.

    There are three major types of vascular access for maintenance hemodialysis: primary

    arteriovenous (AV) fistulas; synthetic arteriovenous fistulas (AV grafts); and double-lumen,

    cuffed tunneled catheters. To facilitate placement of a permanent vascular access, the 2008

    Society for Vascular Surgery guidelines recommend that patients be referred to an access

    surgeon when the patient has late stage 4 CKD, defined by an estimated GFR of less than 20 to

    25 mL/min per 1.73 m2 [91]. (See "Chronic hemodialysis vascular access: Types and

    placement".)

    Primary AV fistulas Primary AV fistulas are the preferred form of vascular access given

    their significantly higher long-term patency rates and lower rate of complications. Since a

    primary AV fistula requires months to mature and is the access of choice, patients should be

    referred for surgery to attempt access construction when it is estimated that the patient is

    within one year of the anticipated need for dialysis as manifested by a GFR less than 25 mL/min,

    a plasma c reatinine concentration greater than 4 mg/mL (354 micromol/L), or a rapid rate of

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    progression. The 2006 K/DOQI guidelines recommend that a fistula be placed at least six months

    prior to the anticipated start of hemodialysis [87].

    Primary AV fistulas are typically constructed with an end-to-side vein-to-artery anastomosis of

    the cephalic vein and the radial artery. These fistulas have good long-term patency and

    infrequently develop infectious complications. A well constructed radial cephalic fistula that

    functions for the first six months can be expected to function for up to 20 years.

    The evaluation of non-maturing AV fistulas may require an assessment with procedures that

    involve the administration of iodinated radiocontrast agents, thereby possibly resulting in

    radiocontrast-induced nephropathy and required early dialysis. In one study of 65 endovascular

    procedures among 34 patients with stage 4 CKD and nonmaturing AV fistulas, contrast-induced

    nephropathy (25 percent increase in serum creatinine concentration) occurred in only 5 percent

    of patients at one week post-procedure and no one required acute dialysis [92]. The mean

    contrast volume was small (mean of 7.8 mL per procedure).

    The administration of gadolinium during magnetic resonance imaging has been linked to an often

    severe disease called nephrogenic systemic fibrosis among patients with moderate to severe

    renal disease, particularly those requiring dialysis. As a result, it is recommended that

    gadolinium-based imaging be avoided, if possible, in patients with an eGFR less than 30 mL/min.

    There is no consensus among experts concerning the dec ision to administer gadolinium among

    patients with an eGFR between 30 and 60 mL/min. (See "Nephrogenic systemic

    fibrosis/nephrogenic fibrosing dermopathy in advanced renal failure".)

    Synthetic AV access (bridge grafts) AV fistulas constructed with synthetic material,

    most commonly polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), provide excellent vascular access in patients

    who fail endogenous AV fistula placement. PTFE has good surgical handling characteristics, and

    grafts of this material usually mature in two weeks. Synthetic grafts have a higher long-term

    complication rate (eg, infection, thrombosis) than primary fistulas. The 2006 K/DOQI guidelines

    recommend that a synthetic graft be placed at least three to six weeks prior to the anticipated

    start of hemodialysis [87].

    Cuffed tunneled catheters These central venous catheters, which can be used

    immediately after placement, are primarily used as intermediate-duration vascular access to

    allow maturation of endogenous fistulas. They can also provide acceptable long-term access in

    patients who have exhausted all available sites. Nevertheless, these central venous catheters

    are inferior to AV access as long-term access, since they provide lower flows and have higher

    rates of infection and other complications. (See "Acute hemodialysis vascular access".)

    Preparation for peritoneal dialysis Peritoneal dialysis catheters, which are placed into the

    abdominal cavity, can be used immediately after placement. However, to minimize the risk of

    fluid leak, it is preferable to wait at least 10 to 14 days before beginning dialysis. If dialysis is

    required less than 10 days following catheter placement, small volume exchanges performed in

    the recumbent position can be performed with little risk of leak. (See "Placement and

    maintenance of the peritoneal dialysis catheter".)

    Preparation for renal transplantation Preparation for renal transplantation, which principally

    involves evaluation of the potential renal transplant recipient and/or the living donor, is

    discussed in detail separately. Referral of patients with CKD to a transplant center should occur

    when the GFR decreases to less than 30 mL/min or, among diabetics, when the GFR is between

    30 to 40 mL/min [93]. (See "Evaluation of the potential renal transplant recipient"and "Living

    unrelated donors in renal transplantation".)

    Indications for renal replacement therapy There are a number of clinical indications to

    initiate dialysis in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). These include [87,94,95]:

    Pericarditis or pleuritis (urgent indicat ion)

    Progressive uremic encephalopathy or neuropathy, with signs such as confusion, asterixis,

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    myoclonus, wrist or foot drop, or, in severe, cases, seizures (urgent indication)

    A clinically significant bleeding diathesis attributable to uremia (urgent indication)

    Fluid overload refractory to diuretics

    Hypertension poorly responsive to antihypertensive medications

    Persistent metabolic disturbances that are refractory to medical therapy. These include

    hyperkalemia, metabolic ac idosis, hypercalcemia, hypocalcemia, and hyperphosphatemia.

    Persistent nausea and vomiting

    Evidence of malnutrition

    Relative indications for the initiation of dialysis include decreased attentiveness and cognitive

    tasking, depression, persistent pruritus or the restless leg syndrome.

    We suggest that, among patients with progressive CKD, clinicians must be vigilant for the

    presence of symptoms and/or signs of uremia and patients should also be fully informed of any

    symptoms of uremia to be able to contact their physicians appropriately. Dialysis should be

    considered based upon clinical factors plus the estimated GFR. Dialysis should be initiated in the

    patient with symptoms and/or signs due to uremia.

    Among asymptomatic patients with progressive CKD, the t iming of initiation of dialysis is unclear

    and there is no specific threshold GFR level that has been established for the initiation of

    dialysis. To help avoid the onset of possible life-threatening complications of uremia, the

    initiation of dialysis should be considered in the asymptomatic patient with an extremely low GFR,

    such as an estimated GFR of approximately 8 to 10 mL/min per 1.73 m2. However, some

    clinicians may choose to closely monitor (weekly) asymptomatic patients with progressive CKD

    even when the GFR is less than 8 to 10 mL/min per 1.73 m2, with the initiation of dialysis upon

    the onset of uremic signs/symptoms. Nevertheless, as noted in the IDEAL trial, the vast majority

    of patients are initiated on dialysis because of the onset of uremic symptoms at a GFR of

    approximately 10 mL/min per 1.73 m2 or above [96]. All approaches require close followup, early

    nephrology referral, and adequate advance dialysis planning (including the presence of a

    functioning peritoneal or vascular access and referral for transplantation). A detailed discussion

    of the IDEAL trial and indications for dialysis in the patient with CKD can be found elsewhere.(See "Indications for initiation of dialysis in chronic kidney disease".)

    The following are some of the more recent National and International Guidelines for the initiation

    of dialysis, which were published before the results of the IDEAL trial were reported:

    The 2006 National Kidney Foundation Dialysis Outcomes Quality Initiative (K/DOQI) for

    peritoneal dialysis and hemodialysis adequacy published guidelines concerning the initiation

    of dialysis among patients with renal insufficiency [87,95]. The work group suggested that

    the benefits and risks of initiating renal replacement therapy should be considered in

    patients with GFR less than 15 mL/min per 1.73 m2 (stage 5 chronic kidney disease).

    Initiation of dialysis prior to stage 5 chronic kidney disease may also be required in patients

    with certain characteristics and/or complications, such as dec lining health due to the loss

    of kidney function.

    The 2005 European Best Practice Guidelines for peritoneal dialysis suggest that dialysis be

    initiated before the GFR is less than 6 mL/min per 1.73 m2, with consideration of initiation

    when the GFR is approximately 8 to 10 mL/min per 1.73 m2 [97].

    INFORMATION FOR PATIENTS Educational materials on this topic are available for patients.

    (See "Patient information: Low potassium diet".) We encourage you to print or e-mail this topic,

    or to refer patients to our public web site www.uptodate.com/patients, which includes this and

    other topics.

    SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS There are a significant number of general issues

    related to the management of patients with chronic kidney disease. These are discussed in the

    following sections of this topic review:

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    Natural history of chronic kidney disease. (See 'Natural history of renal disease'above.)

    The definition and classification of chronic kidney disease. (See 'Definitions and

    classification'above.)

    Association of chronic kidney disease with cardiovascular disease, end-stage renal

    disease, infection, malignancy and mortality. (See 'Association with cardiovascular disease,

    end-stage renal disease, and mortality'above and 'Association with non-cardiovascular

    disease'above.)

    Management of chronic kidney disease, which includes treatment of reversible causes of

    renal dysfunction, preventing or slowing the progression of renal disease, treatment of the

    complications of renal dysfunction, and the identification and adequate preparation of the

    patient in whom renal replacement therapy will be required. (See 'General management of

    chronic kidney disease'above and 'Preparation for and initiation of renal replacement

    therapy'above.)

    Use of UpToDate is subject to the Subscription and License Agreement.

    REFERENCES

    1. Abboud, H, Henrich, WL. Clinical practice. Stage IV chronic kidney disease. N Engl J Med2010; 362:56.

    2. Sarnak, MJ, Greene, T, Wang, X, et al. The effect of a lower target blood pressure on theprogression of kidney disease: long-term follow-up of the modification of diet in renaldisease study. Ann Intern Med 2005; 142:342.

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    GRAPHICS

    ACE inhibitor slows progression of diabeticnephropathy

    The effect of the administration of placebo or captopril topatients with type 1 diabetes with overt proteinuria and aplasma creatinine concentration equal to or greater than 1.5mg/dL (132 mol/L). The likelihood of a doubling of the plasmacreatinine concentration (Pcr) was reduced by more than 50percent in the captopril group. Data from Lewis, EJ, Hunsicker, LG,Bain, RP, Rohde, RD, N Engl J Med 1993; 329:1456.

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    Recommended dietary intake for chronic kidney and end-stage renaldisease patients*

    Chronic kidney diseaseMaintenancehemodialysis

    Protein 0.8 to 1.0 g/kg/day of high biologicalvalue protein

    >1.2 to 1.3 g/kg/day

    Energy 35 kcal/kg/day; if the body weight is greater than 120 percent of normal or the patient is greater than 60 years of age a loweramo